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Old 12-28-2011, 08:41 AM   #1
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Default Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

I'm looking for a used 4x4 pickup, preferably 2005+. I won't be using this vehicle for "extreme" off-roading, but it will see quite a lot of time in the mountains (snow, jeep trails, etc.). For this reason (and for better gas mileage), I'm leaning toward a compact rather than full size truck. I'm assuming that a smaller truck would handle better in these conditions. However, that's just an uninformed assumption on my part, so please correct me if that isn't the case.

Based on what research I've done, the Toyota Tacoma is the "be all end all" of small trucks... and they better be considering how much they seem to cost.

So I was wondering... are there other small 4x4 trucks worth considering besides a Tacoma? I'm just not finding much reliable information. Do y'all have any particular recommendations?

Thanks!
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

I did the research recently b/c my dad needed a new truck after Toyota bought his back. Final answer.....he got another Tacoma. They are that good is my opinion.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

Tacos ftw. I like the models before 05
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

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Tacos ftw. I like the models before 05
Me too. I found my dad a minty 1 owner 85k mile TRD 4-Door. He loves it.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

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Me too. I found my dad a minty 1 owner 85k mile TRD 4-Door. He loves it.
What did he pay for it if you don't mind my asking?
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

i owned one for about 14 months. 2007 Tacoma V6 Prerunner 6spd.

in the midsize truck world (the 05+ are no longer "compact"), the tacoma is the best option. but that doesn't mean it's a great truck. gas mileage won't stun you, 18mpg mixed no matter how hard you try to hypermile. the interior is the cheapest interior i've ever seen--it's like they salvaged plastic from an 80's daihatsu and mixed it with trash to create the lowest quality HDPE possible. It's simultaneously hard and soft--starting at it the wrong way will gall the interior pieces. Interior has that cheap toyota smell, aka the smell of the cheapest interior plastic and cheapest upholstery offgassing to create that distinct aroma of cheapness. Sit in a 5 year old corolla or a 8 year old camry and you'll know that stench.

Engine performance isn't bad, the 236/260 is more than enough engine for most duties other than towing. the 6 spd driving experience left alot to be desired. throws were longer than my arm. flywheel was probably 65 lbs since anything faster than a 4 second shift would not be smooth. acceleration was decent, for a truck. overall driving experience was what you'd expect from a truck. the HDPE (higher quality than the interior, or, at the very least thicker) bed was cool to me, made it easy to install additional anchors to facilitate motorcycle hauling, but may not be suitable for people looking for a work truck--doesn't look like the bed would survive too many trips hauling CMU/gravel/etc. Off-road performance is typically Toyota, with good ground clearance and no-frills but effective 4wd. reliability is hit and miss...the pre-08 trucks had a bunch of TSB's out on them for issues ranging from rear suspension problems (not enough spring in the rear to prevent bottoming out; failing leaf springs--which are sometimes NOT covered under warranty by ToA) to tailgates that were snapping in half with loads as little as 150 lbs on it (aka, someone sitting on their gate, making taco's out of their tacos) and other minor issues that can really **** off owners.

That being said, it's an OK truck. I was happy to see mine get replaced by my F150, which i felt wasn't nearly as cheaply built. if you can get one for a decent price used (which you can't) i'd think it's certainly worth your money, but in the end, the main issue is value. Paying 19K for a 4 year old truck with 50k miles that sells 23,500 OTD new makes no sense to me. Would rather pay 3.5K for a Ranger V6 4x4 and spend a small portion of that 15.5K on a lift kit, bigger wheels and repairs. or, get a 98-04 tacoma which is smaller, and down on power, but way better built. still overpriced for what they are (10 year old used trucks) but less of a "Taco Premium" than the 05+ trucks.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

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Originally Posted by hapexamendios 2.0 View Post
What did he pay for it if you don't mind my asking?
$11,000.00. It's an 01. All records. Rhino liner. Soft toneua cover. Super nice condition.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:01 AM   #8
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

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Originally Posted by SIRIUS View Post
Me too. I found my dad a minty 1 owner 85k mile TRD 4-Door. He loves it.
I also had a TRD 4 double cab. Best thing was I bought it brand new and put on around 35-40k miles and ended up selling it 2-3 years later for only 2.5K less then I paid for it.

This is the only car/truck I have ever owned that NEVER had any problems at all. Probably got lucky but I was shocked that I never got any minor problem with mine.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

I don't know what you have for Mountains down there in Okie, but for "alot of time in the mountains (Snow, Jeep trails, etc)" around here, you wouldn't want to have a 2005+. It will be scratched and dented in no time. If you were around here, I'd say an older Tacoma, like 90's. "Extreme Wheeling" to us is Moab. Normal "Jeep trails" to us might be considered "extreme" wheeling where you are.

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Old 12-28-2011, 09:08 AM   #10
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

small and mid-size pickups... all the drawbacks of a fullsize with no additional benefits...
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:14 AM   #11
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

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small and mid-size pickups... all the drawbacks of a fullsize with no additional benefits...
Not at all. Meneuverability. Parking. Ease of entry/exit. Better on gas (even if slightly).

My dad wanted something that fit in his garage too. full size extra or dble cabs wont.

Midsize trucks definately have their upside.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

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I don't know what you have for Mountains down there in Okie, but for "alot of time in the mountains (Snow, Jeep trails, etc)" around here, you wouldn't want to have a 2005+. It will be scratched and dented in no time. If you were around here, I'd say an older Tacoma, like 90's. "Extreme Wheeling" to us is Moab. Normal "Jeep trails" to us might be considered "extreme" wheeling where you are.
Sorry about the misleading sig... I'll be moving to Billings MT within the next few months, and I'd like to buy a truck here (in the south) before heading up there where they tend to be more expensive.

Those are awesome pics, but a bit more "aggressive" than I had in mind!! I do a lot of fly fishing, hiking, and general exploring with the fam. This won't be a vehicle for the sake of 4 wheeling, but more for getting me through some rough stuff if my objective lies on the other side.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:28 AM   #13
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

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i owned one for about 14 months. 2007 Tacoma V6 Prerunner 6spd...
WOW, great post!! I think you did a better job than I did describing exactly my dilemma!

I have about given up on Tacoma's due to the ridiculously high prices, and the fact that I'm having a very hard time finding anything from 98' - 04'. People must keep those and drive them into the ground.

Regarding your comment about the Ranger, what would you consider the best candidate for sort of thing? I'm very comfortable working around cars. Don't own a hoist, but suspension work, timing belt, etc. is no problem. I would hesitate to do much of a lift though. I'd like to drive this truck daily...
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:31 AM   #14
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

what is your price bracket?
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:38 AM   #15
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

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Originally Posted by SIRIUS View Post
$11,000.00. It's an 01. All records. Rhino liner. Soft toneua cover. Super nice condition.
Nice.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:40 AM   #16
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

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Originally Posted by fsp31 View Post
Sorry about the misleading sig... I'll be moving to Billings MT within the next few months, and I'd like to buy a truck here (in the south) before heading up there where they tend to be more expensive.

Those are awesome pics, but a bit more "aggressive" than I had in mind!! I do a lot of fly fishing, hiking, and general exploring with the fam. This won't be a vehicle for the sake of 4 wheeling, but more for getting me through some rough stuff if my objective lies on the other side.

Most of those pics are near the Idaho/Montana Border. Billings is flat. You wouldn't hit mountains until almost Bozeman. Everything west of Butte looks like the pics posted.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:43 AM   #17
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

1995.5+ Tacoma gets my vote.

If it doesn't HAVE to be a pickup, look into a Cherokee.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:47 AM   #18
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

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what is your price bracket?
I'd like to keep at $10k or under. May not be realistic though...
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:48 AM   #19
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

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Most of those pics are near the Idaho/Montana Border. Billings is flat. You wouldn't hit mountains until almost Bozeman. Everything west of Butte looks like the pics posted.
It's flat right in Billings, but the Beartooth highway, Red Lodge ski area, etc. are less than 60 miles west... where I'll be spending my weekends.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:54 AM   #20
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

Get a TJ with a trailer.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:03 AM   #21
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

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WOW, great post!! I think you did a better job than I did describing exactly my dilemma!

I have about given up on Tacoma's due to the ridiculously high prices, and the fact that I'm having a very hard time finding anything from 98' - 04'. People must keep those and drive them into the ground.

Regarding your comment about the Ranger, what would you consider the best candidate for sort of thing? I'm very comfortable working around cars. Don't own a hoist, but suspension work, timing belt, etc. is no problem. I would hesitate to do much of a lift though. I'd like to drive this truck daily...
i'm no expert on the ranger, but from what i can gather, they are prone to bad heater cores, spotty auto locking 4wd hubs, and some front suspension issues. all sound like PITA issues, but rangers are generally so cheap that I think i could probably live with those issues for the price. i know some people with rangers and they don't complain, but they either own heavily modified pre-runners, or 2wd 4cyl moto haulers that get driven 3x a month.

i will say, skip the colorado or the S10, i've seen nothing but problems for those trucks.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:58 AM   #22
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

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1995.5+ Tacoma gets my vote.
You mean 97+ v6 Tacoma's
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:26 AM   #23
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

why?

22RE is king.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:49 AM   #24
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

Tacoma

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you were saying???
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:51 AM   #25
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Default Re: Advice on small 4x4 (ext cab) pickup

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why?

22RE is king.
Is okay for daily driver, but when you have to tow or haul something, you will hate it.

1990CamaroRS what is the point of posting that picture?

Ford SVT Raptor have same problem.

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